Tyres screeched, smoke billowed, crowds roared

Tyres screeched, smoke billowed, crowds roared

Several YP junior reporters and cadets recount their experience of Red Bull's event-filled F1 exhibition bonanza


YP junior reporters with F1 star Jaime Alguersuari during a VIP backstage tour and interview with the Spanish driver
YP junior reporters with F1 star Jaime Alguersuari during a VIP backstage tour and interview with the Spanish driver
Photos: David Wong and Red Bull
Jaime Alguersuari attracted more than 40,000 car fanatics to the Red Bull Dragon Run in Central recently. The 21-year-old driver performed stunts for a captive audience in Red Bull Racing's show car. Here nine Young Post junior reporters and cadets recount their exclusive interview with Alguersuari, tour around the garage, and the race car action.

Red Bull Dragon Run Show

Hundreds of petrolheads and thrill-seekers crowded both sides of the 600-metre-long Lung Wo Road, which was transformed into a racetrack.

The Red Bull Dragon Run show kicked off at 6pm and lasted for 90 minutes. The atmosphere was fantastic. The roar of the engines mixed with guitar riffs by US rock band Nickelback blasting from speakers.

The first act featured car and motorbike stunts. The bikes did wheelies at full throttle, while the car executed tyre-burning 360-degree twists. The screech of the tyres and the smell of petrol sent spectators into a frenzy.

When the F1 car finally made its appearance, the noise was just unbelievable. The high-pitched roar of the engine is far louder live than it is on TV. We needed to use earplugs.

Even on the narrow road, Alguersuari could show off his skills. Although the speed of the F1 car was limited to 130km/h, it was much faster than any camera shutter. The car ended up as just a blur on our photos.

In the grand finale, Alguersuari stepped out of his car in a huge cloud of smoke and unfurled Hong Kong's flag. The Spanish star immediately stole our hearts.

We left the event with our ears still ringing.

YP junior reporters Christopher Yim, Janet Tam and William Cheng and YP cadet Grace Yip

Meet & Greet with Jaime Alguersuari

Alguersuari has been passionate about car racing since the age of seven. He started out in children's go-kart races and worked his way up to Formula 1. Starting out young, he said, "allowed me more time to learn and gain experience", which is vital in car racing.

Recently Alguersuari came eighth at the Canadian Grand Prix - his best result so far. He said it had been a difficult race because of the long track and rain.

The key to success, the driver said, is rigorous training. Before each race, he familiarises himself with the twists and turns of a track during test runs and qualifying rounds. That helps him "stay calm and just focus on the routine". He urged aspiring F1 drivers to "believe in [their dreams] and push themselves to the maximum".

This was Alguersuari's second visit to Hong Kong, which he says is a "lively and nice city".

During his time off racing, he enjoys being a deejay under the name DJ Squire in his native Spain. "Finding time to balance [racing and DJ-ing] is difficult," Alguersuari conceded. "But my passion for both gives me the drive to work hard because I love both."

YP junior reporter Rex Yau and YP cadet Jocelyn Wong

Super Cars

In the garage stood a fine line-up: five Lotus Exige S from the racing team Richburg, two drift cars from the Type R club, two Kawasaki motorbikes from Zhuhai, and the Red Bull F1 show car.

Rob, a British engineer, explained that the show car had a powerful 3-litre V10 engine. It was a 2006 racing car, which has since been turned into a show car.

Then there was the new X1 super car. The prototype can reach 600km/h and is made of carbon fibre. It is faster than a F1 car. It can get to 250km/h in just 3.5 seconds. Too bad, the car is just a simulation for PlayStation GT5!

YP junior reporter Ian Duncan

Super Bikes

The Super Bike Stunt Show was definitely a highlight of the event. Although super bikes may seem small, they go pretty fast. Their riders perform a wide variety of dangerous stunts.

The show featured many high-speed track runs and some impressive stunts that are rarely seen in Hong Kong.

The two Kawasaki superbikes used in the show were both powerful machines. Their drivers did wheelies, high-flying stunts, hands-off wheelies and stoppies. The bikes ran at full throttle but only until they reached 130km/h, which was the speed limit set by the Hong Kong government.

The performance was spectacular and often breathtaking. Both riders were very confident in executing every single stunt. They did so with well-practiced, even graceful movements.

The show was a definite crowd-pleaser. The thousands of spectators whooped and cheered at the stuntmen's daredevil heroics. It was great fun to watch them.

YP junior reporter Joyce Pang and Kris Mak

Compiled by Joyee Chan



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